Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "pension plan" ...

  • Suburban Pension Peril

    Police and fire retirement plans in suburban Chicago are woefully underfunded by more than $3 billion, an investigation by the Better Government Association found. Not only is this bad news for pension plan members but it also puts taxpayers on the hook for potential bailouts. In a follow-up piece, we analyze the prospects for municipal bankruptcies brought on by the funding shortfalls.
  • Private Schools

    More than 180 privately run schools in New Jersey promise to take on the severely disabled children that public schools can’t handle, giving them a special status in the Garden State's educational system. But these schools are also a $600 million industry funded by New Jersey taxpayers – an industry that is only loosely regulated by the state. After a two-month investigation, Star-Ledger reporter Christopher Baxter exposed what can happen when the state writes checks to private companies without closely watching what they do with the money. His reporting was a relentless indictment of the system, finding the private schools were able to spend taxpayer dollars in ways public schools could not. He uncovered nepotism among school staffs, executive pay far higher than public school superintendents, officials owning fancy cars, schools offering generous pension plans and questionable business deals between schools and companies owned by school officials. In one instance, Baxter discovered a classroom aide who was related one of the school’s directors was taking home a $94,000 salary – three times what others were paid – without even a bachelor’s degree.
  • Debt-uty crisis

    The four-day series detailed the controversial origins of the Knox County Sheriff's Office Pension Plan -- called the Uniformed Officers Pension Plan, UOPP -- and the ramifications its approval had on county finances. The series looked at how the plan was sold to the public on lies and bad information.
  • Pension Bonanza

    The state of Illinois is in a large amount of debt due to its pension plan, which is causing services to be eliminated. The pension plan has allowed some government retirees to become millionaires and others earning “at least $100,000 a year”. This is one of the reasons the state is in large debt and the fact the pension plan is costing “more than $800 million a month”.
  • Questionable Advisors, ethical gaps dog Detroit's public pensions

    The investigation “focused on the advisers to Detroit’s public pension plans and their investments.” The findings revealed: advisers failed to display the problems with the businessmen who pitched investments, trustees didn’t follow their rules and had zero travel policies, and the fund invested a large amount of money in real estate.
  • How the United Way of Charlotte lost the public's trust

    Both WCNC-TV and the Observer worked to unveil how the CEO of United Way received a $2.1 million pension plan through lobbying efforts. Those who approved the plan declined to release documents or answer any questions at first.
  • Toxic Debt

    "In 2007, the financial world came unhinged. A rise in late mortgage payments triggered hedge fund blowups, massive Wall Street write-offs, ousted CEOs, Congressional hearings, and intervention by central bankers and finance ministers. In a series of exclusive and prescient stories, Bloomberg exposed the ties that connected unregulated mortgage brokers, fee-hungry Wall Street banks, conflicted credit rating companies, and the managers of money market funds and public pension plans."
  • Doing Business with the Enemy

    60 Minutes discovered that companies like Halliburton and General Electric that pension plans and mutual funds invest in heavily were doing business in countries that sponsor terrorism.
  • Gold in Educators' Unused Sick Days

    This investigation uncovered a provision in Chicago public school principals that allows them to save up unused sick days to cash in upon retirement. Not only can they collect up to 315 days of unused sick pay, but 244 of those can also be used as service time to increase their pension.
  • Inside the UFW

    This series takes a look at what the United Farm Workers have become since it was founded over 40 years ago by Cesar Chavez and others. They found that the UFW is not a union in the typical sense; it has not really been able to raise wages for workers or improve working conditions. It has become, instead, a collection of social-service organizations, some of them for profit, some non-profit, for farm workers. Family members of the UFW founders have often inherited leadership roles and sometimes the money which is donated to various social service organizations is not well accounted for.